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Washington: Legislature Adjourns, No Time for Gun Owners to Rest in Defense of Rights

Friday, March 14, 2014

Last night, the Washington Legislature adjourned their 2014 session and while Initiative 594 stalled in the state Capitol, the fight is just beginning as the deeply flawed I-594 will now go to the November Ballot.

As previously reported, I-594 is a universal handgun registration scheme being promoted by a very wealthy group of anti-gun elitists who have already raised nearly $1.4 million to qualify this initiative.  Although they describe it as a “universal background check” measure, it is not “universal” because criminals will never comply with the requirements.  It is, however, universal handgun registration.  Under I-594, every time a handgun is transferred, the person receiving the handgun will have their name added to the government database being maintained by the state Department of Licensing.

Further, virtually every firearm transfer - with very few and limited exceptions - would be required to go through a licensed firearms dealer under the provisions of I-594.  I-594 will specifically regulate transfers, not sales.  Under the language of I-594, in virtually all cases, a person merely handing his or her firearm to a family member or a friend cannot do so without brokering the transfer through a gun dealer with the accompanying paperwork, taxes and, in the case of handguns, state registration.  I-594 also doubles the state waiting period on handgun sales from five to ten days and extends it to every private transfer of a handgun!

Awaiting approval by Governor Jay Inslee (D) is Senate Bill 5956, sponsored by state Senators Brian Hatfield (D-19), Tim Sheldon (D-35) and John Braun (R-20).  SB 5956 would make legal the possession, acquisition or transfer of a legally registered short-barreled rifle in Washington.  SB 5956 passed in the Washington House of Representatives by a 95 to 3 vote on March 7 after passing unanimously in the Senate earlier in February.  Special thanks to state Representative Brian Blake (D-19) for his efforts in ushering SB 5956 through the House of Representatives.



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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.